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Friday, February 20, 2015

Audible Review: Heart of Stone: Irish Angel Series by Jill Marie Landis

This is a very sweet and engaging historical romance.
Heart of Stone: Irish Angel Series
Written by: Jill Marie Landis
Narrated by: Reneé Raudman

Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
Series: Irish Angel, Book 1
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:03-01-10
Publisher: Zondervan
Genre: Historical Romance, Christian
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
In the first book of the Irish Angels series, we meet Laura Foster, a woman with the darkest of pasts, and Reverend Brand McCormick, a man with everything to lose by loving her. Having escaped a life she never chose, Laura Foster is finally living her dream. But even after four years of posing as a respectable widow in Glory, Texas, she is always afraid someone from her past might reveal her true identity.
Believing no man could love her if he knew the truth, Laura tries to resist Brand's courtship. His reputation would be shattered if Laura's former life is discovered. But it's not only Laura's past that threatens to bring him down - it's also his own. As they open their hearts to love and faith, will Laura and Brand find the depth and power of forgiveness from their community?
©2010 Jill Marie Landis; (P)2010 Zondervan

Laura Foster was a child, the oldest of four girls, when her parents came to America from Ireland. They settled in New Orleans but her father and mother died when she was only ten. The girls were taken in by their aunt and uncle...but not for long. The two younger girls were sent to an orphanage but the Laura and her 9 year old sister were sold to the owner of a brothel and separated. Laura had no way to save herself, much less keep her promise to take care of her younger sisters.

Years later Laura has managed to pull herself away from her past and remake herself as a respectable widow. She has operated a lovely boarding house in Glory, Texas for four years. Still, her past and shame press heavily on her and keep her in fear of exposure.

Reverand Brand McCormick has taken note how Laura is always gracious, kind, generous and willing to lend a helping hand to others in her community. He begins to court her even though she is resistant to his advances.

Suddenly the pastor is surprised by secrets from his own past which puts his standing in jeopardy. How can Laura risk exposing him to more difficulty with her own unsavory past?

I had not read a book by Jill Marie Landis for a few years and I had forgotten how I enjoy her writing. It is direct with an easy flow. The characters are warm and life-like with human flaws and problems. The villains are appropriately arrogant and nasty. There is wonderful, not always lovely, history showing hardships of the poor. This story has a lovely message speaking against those who judge others and how hard it can be to forgive ourselves even for things that we couldn’t control.

I would enjoy reading more in the series to discover what happened to Laura's sisters. I recommend this to readers who enjoy a sweet, historical romance with Godly principles that can inspire.

Audio Notes: Reneé Raudman does a nice job with the narration. Nothing over the top but it is solid and made the listening easy.

This audiobook is from 2011 in my Audible library. It qualifies for Audiobook Challenge, TBR Double Dog Dare, Winter Coyer and H on Alphabet Soup.

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